Suresh Raina has been that kind of a player who has had the capability to win games for the team single-handedly. The intensity and the energy he has brought to the center is still unmatched. He has always been very flexible in the batting lineup and has pitched in whenever his team needed him the most.
Everyone knows the amount of runs he has saved on the field with his amazing reflexes and diving efforts. Not only is he a reliable batsman, but he is also an outstanding part-timer who has bowled tight spells to keep a check on the run rate.
In a career spanning over a decade, Raina has provided us with a lot of entertainment. He was part of the team when India won the World Cup in 2011 as well as the Champions Trophy in 2013.
There are some special moments in Suresh Raina’s career that each and every fan will cherish for long. Here are the five best images from the popular cricketer's career thus far.
#5 Celebrating India's victory in 2011 World Cup quarterfinal
India came so close to winning their second World Cup title in 2003 but lost to the mighty Aussies in the final. When the 2011 World Cup began, everyone started to think if they could do it this time on home soil. They finished second in the group stage and had to face the challenge of Australia in the quarterfinal.
Batting first, the Aussies posted a decent total of 260. On a wicket like Motera, the pitch got easier as the match went on and the Indian batsmen took full advantage of it. There was a time in the chase when India needed 74 runs in 12.3 overs with the captain back to the pavilion. Raina joined Yuvraj in the middle.
They put on a brilliant partnership and guided India home with 14 balls left. The victory moment of Yuvraj on his knees and Raina with his arms aloft will remain etched forever in the history of Indian cricket.
#4 Celebrating Kohli's World Cup century against Pakistan
It was the sixth meeting between India and Pakistan in the World Cup. The match was held at the Adelaide Oval in front of a packed crowd. Having won the toss, India opted to bat and piled up 300 runs in their 50 overs.
Indian bowlers rose to the occasion to win the match by 76 runs. Now let us talk about the most important moment in the match. When Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed, Raina came in at number four and stitched an important partnership of 110 runs with Virat Kohli.
During the course, Kohli got to his hundred and millions of fans watched Raina acknowledging the ton by raising his arm high. He proved to the world that he was a team player and was selfless in character. These little things set him apart from his peers.
#3 Flying catch for Gujarat Lions
It was the 10th edition of IPL and Raina led the charge for Gujarat Lions. They performed poorly in the group stage and won just 4 games out of 14. But the thing that caught everyone’s eye was that ‘Superman’ effort from Raina to dismiss Ajinkya Rahane.
It was the match between Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions played at Rajkot and the hosts elected to bat. Rahane opened the batting with Rahul Tripathi. He tried to get off the mark by guiding the ball towards the third man. Unfortunately for him, he got an edge and the ball flew to the left of Raina. He anticipated the ball and flew to his right before grabbing the catch.
Raina’s reflexes enabled him to put out his left hand and pull off one of the greatest catches in IPL history.
#2 Clinching a thriller at Sydney
India toured Australia at the beginning of 2016 where they played five ODIs and three T20Is against the hosts. The ODI series went in the hosts' favor with four wins and the Indian team were keen to make a comeback in the shortest format.
India won the first two encounters at Adelaide and Melbourne to seal the T20I series. But, a win in the 3rd T20I would mean whitewashing the Aussies in their own backyard. The hosts batted first and posted a mammoth 197 thanks to Shane Watson’s century.
The Indians started well but found themselves in trouble when Rohit Sharma and Kohli departed in a space of two overs. Yuvraj and Raina were at the crease with the target still far ahead. With 17 needed off 6 balls, Yuvraj hit 10 runs off the first two balls before Raina came back on strike.
It was up to Raina now, to finish the game and he finished it in style scoring a boundary off the last ball. Yuvraj celebrated the triumph by carrying his teammate on his back after the latter hit the winning runs.
#1 During MS Dhoni’s retirement from Tests
MS Dhoni was suffering from a hand injury and missed the first Test against Australia in 2014 at the Adelaide Oval. He then played two Test matches at the Gabba and MCG. Following the third Test, the skipper decided to call it quits from the longest format.
In a career spanning for a decade, Dhoni scored 4876 runs at an average of 38.09 in 90 Tests. He captained India in 60 Tests and retired as India’s most successful captain in the longer format. It was under his captaincy that India became the number 1 team in the world in 2009.
Raina, who is a close compatriot to Dhoni, tweeted about the latter's valiance throughout his life with a beautiful selfie. This image went viral and brought in touching reactions from across the cricket spectrum.